Tao Nashimoto’s “Ano Sora no Ao (Halcyon Skies),” which premiered at this year’s Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival, is the type of lyrical, personal, naturalistically acted and elliptically narrated Japanese indie film I used to see by the dozen in the 1990s but is now rather rare. One foreign commentator called it the “most normal” film on the Yubari program, but actually the grotesque/bizarre, manga- and anime-influenced genre pic has become the new normal, especially among foreign J-film fans.

I haven’t been totally sorry to see this change: The interminable static shots, meandering, convoluted stories and introverted, monosyllabic characters of that bygone era could be slow death by boredom. At least today’s for-export exploitation product, with its miniskirted, blood-slathered teenage hotties, is trying, however idiotically, to entertain.

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